Nick Wilkinson, veteran director of casting for theater and ABC Television, died on the island of Kauai on Sept. 29. He was 69.
Wilkinson became a prominent player in regional theater as the longtime casting director for Theatre Communications Group in New York City, known in the 1980s as Central Casting for most theaters across the United States. Wilkinson then became the casting director for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
He later transitioned from theater to television, becoming ABC Television’s director of casting in New York and then Los Angeles. Wilkinson helped cast major projects in ABC’s movie and miniseries division, along with its daytime division. He took pride in helping previously unknown actors, such as Bruce Willis and Sarah Michelle Gellar, kickstart their rise to stardom.
Following his retirement from casting, Wilkinson took on a brief stint as a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art before returning to writing. With his writing partner Jessie Jones, he penned several episodes for TV series such as “For Your Love” and Disney’s “Teacher’s Pet.”
Wilkinson then returned to his theater roots — this time as a playwright, joining the much-produced comedy playwright trio known as Jones Hope Wooten (Hope was Wilkinson’s mother’s middle name and his nom de plume). Their comedies have been produced thousands of times on stage across the U.S. and around the world.
Wilkinson is survived by his husband Jamie Wooten, writer and producer on “The Golden Girls,” and his friend of nearly 50 years, Jones. Wilkinson and his husband Wooten — who met on a blind date, set up by CAA agent Peter Levine and “Nip/Tuck” writer-producer Richard Levine — were together for 30 years.